Traveling at the speed of light, a power surge only needs a fraction of a second to do significant damage to electronics and electrical systems in your home or business. While there are a number of things that can cause a power surge, in 2012 power surges resulting from lightning strikes did almost $1 billion in damages to residential properties alone according to the Insurance Information Institute – and experts say that cost is on the rise. The cost of damages to U.S. businesses was even greater at almost $26 billion more according to Business Week. If your commercial or residential electric service is not protected by a two stage surge protection system, a power surge may cost you much more than you realize.
Understanding Power Surges
Power surges are spikes in the electrical current in your home or business’s electrical system. These spikes are caused a number of ways. Several of the most common sources of power surges include:
- Lightning strikes to power lines, homes or businesses.
- High power systems or machinery cycling on and off.
- Sudden increases or decreases in demand for power from the electric utility.
- Electrical issues caused by errors or equipment failure at the electric utility.
Power Surge Damage
Power surges can damage electric systems, machinery, appliances and electronic devices in two ways. In the case of more powerful surges, these electric devices are exposed to significantly more power than they were designed to withstand. The excess energy produces heat, which in turn burns out electronic components and wiring resulting in immediate damage to the device.
Small power surges cause damage the same way as large power surges do, however rather than cause immediate damage to the device they slowly break down the wiring and components. Over time the stress of repeated excess electricity passing through electronic components and wiring eventually caused them to fail.
Power Surges Occur More Common Than You Realize
Regardless of the cause however, power surges are much more common than most realize. One study conducted by IBM in 49 states over a 17 month period found that on average 128.3 power surges occurred every month. While most of these power surges were too small to cause any immediate damage, over time even these small power surges are capable of causing serious damage. IBM also estimates that on average power surges of 100 to 1,000 volts occur a minimum of once a day. These powerful surges of electricity are capable of causing serious damage to appliances, electric systems, electronics and more if they are not properly protected.
At APower, safety is our number one concern. Whether you are looking to protect your home or business from damaging and dangerous power surges, we have a solution to meet your needs. Our team of knowledgeable, experienced and courteous electricians can answer your questions about power surges and help you determine the protection that is best for you. Contact APower today and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your electric equipment, systems and electronic devices have the best surge protection possible.